Whoopi Goldberg apologizes for saying the Holocaust was 'not about race'

Whoopi Goldberg, the comedian and actress who is also a co-host of the ABC talk show “The View,” repeatedly said during an episode of th...


Whoopi Goldberg, the comedian and actress who is also a co-host of the ABC talk show “The View,” repeatedly said during an episode of the show that aired Monday that the Holocaust was not about race, comments that come at the same time from the rise of anti-Semitism in the world. She then apologized.

In the episode, Ms Goldberg said the Holocaust was about “man’s inhumanity to man” and “not about race”. When one of her co-hosts challenged that claim, saying the Holocaust was motivated by white supremacy, Ms. Goldberg said, “But those are two groups of white people.”

She added: “It’s white people doing it to white people, so you’re all going to fight amongst yourselves.” As she continued to speak, the music turned on, indicating a commercial break.

There was a violent reaction. Jewish groups said Ms Goldberg’s comments were dangerous and the latest example of growing ignorance about the Nazi genocide. During World War II, as part of a policy of mass extermination, the Nazis killed six million Jews – about a third of the world’s Jewish population at the time – because they believed Jews were a inferior race.

Later Monday, Ms. Goldberg appeared in Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” where she apologized, explaining that as a black person she thinks racism is based on skin color but realized that not everyone sees it that way. “I get it. People are angry,” she said. “I accept that, and I did it to myself.”

She apologized again Tuesday at the start of “The View.” She expressed remorse for his remarks, saying she realized they had been misinformed and that she misspoke.

“I said something that I feel responsible not to leave unexamined because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention,” Ms. Goldberg said. “And I understand why now, and for that I’m deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really useful and helped me understand different things.”

On Monday, Ms. Goldberg had discussed the recent decision by a Tennessee school district to remove a Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel from its schedule when she made her first comments on Monday’s episode. On Monday evening, she published a declaration apologize for them. On Tuesday, she said she learned from the experience.

“It is indeed a question of race because Hitler and the Nazis considered the Jews to be an inferior race,” she said. “Now words matter, and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I correct myself. I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and you all know. because I’ve always done that.

During an appearance on the show on Tuesday, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said tackling hate and misinformation about the Holocaust is essential.

“The Holocaust happened and we must learn from that genocide if we are to prevent future tragedies from occurring,” Greenblatt said.

Mr. Greenblatt suggested that “The View” should consider adding a Jewish host to its panel.

“Think about having a Jewish host on this show who can bring these issues of anti-Semitism, who can bring these issues of representation to ‘The View’ every day,” he said.

Ms Goldberg, 66, did not mention having a Jewish background, as she has done in the past. She has stated in interviews that she does not practice any religion but identifies as Jewish and adopted her distinctive stage name in part because of it. She was born Caryn Johnson.

In 1994, Ms. Goldberg mentioned her ties to Judaism in an interview with The Orlando Sentinel, after the Anti-Defamation League slammed a recipe it contributed to a charity cookbook for “Jewish American Princess Fried Chicken.” The title was meant to be ironic, she said.

“I am a Jewish American princess,” she told the newspaper. “That’s probably what bothers people the most. It’s not my problem, people are uncomfortable with the fact that I’m Jewish.

This week, the criticism of Ms. Goldberg’s remarks has been intense. Before being a guest on “The View,” Mr. Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League wrote on Twitter: “No @WhoopiGoldbergthe #Holocaust was about the Nazis’ systematic annihilation of the Jewish people – whom they considered an inferior race. They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous. And Ms. Goldberg’s former co-host Meghan McCain said on Twitter on Monday that anti-Semitism was “a poison that is increasingly excused in our culture and television – and permeates spaces that should all be shock us”.

According to a 2014 report by the Anti-Defamation League, more than a billion people around the world hold anti-Semitic views. More than a third of people in the 102 countries surveyed had never heard of the Holocaust, according to the report.

Jewish communities around the world have reported an increase in annual anti-Semitic incidents, according to research by the Anti-Defamation League. This sentiment is pronounced in Europe, where 89% of Jews felt that anti-Semitism in their country had increased between 2013 and 2018, according to a 2018 European Union survey of approximately 16,500 Jews.

The survey also found that 40% of European Jews fear being physically attacked, and in 12 EU countries where Jews have lived for centuries, more than a third said they were considering emigrating because that they no longer felt safe as Jews.

Last month, the United Nations adopted a resolution that condemns Holocaust denial and distortion. Ms Goldberg’s comments also came weeks after a gunman held several people hostage at a Texas synagogue for 11 hours.

David Baddiel, British comedian and author of the book ‘Jews Don’t Matter’, said in an interview that anti-Semitism had very little to do with the religion itself – descendants of Jews who had converted to Christianity were also killed in the Holocaust because they were considered members of the Jewish race.

“If you’re a race, an ethnicity, like the Jews, who have been persecuted for many, many centuries, mainly because it fits who you are, your parents, your ancestors, then that’s racism,” Mr. Baddiel said.

“There is no other word for it.”



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Newsrust - US Top News: Whoopi Goldberg apologizes for saying the Holocaust was 'not about race'
Whoopi Goldberg apologizes for saying the Holocaust was 'not about race'
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